The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has welcomed the lifting of restrictions which will see it no longer mandatory for staff and customers to present a valid vaccine certificate for entrance into restaurants, bars, kazini, gyms, pools and cinemas.
It did however note that the hospitality and catering sector has lost “some employees who decided to seek employment elsewhere, where vaccination was not mandatory”. This statement should be viewed in the context of 2021 being unprecedented in the HR and staffing challenges faced by the same sector.
“We were unable to put their mind at rest, and we could only tell them not to report for work,” the MHRA said.
It highlighted how some restaurants opted to close for business to see how the vaccine rules would unfold, adding that “there was not much else to do.”
The MHRA went on to call for an extension to the validity period of vaccine certificates where the individual has received their primary dose – two doses of the Pfizer, Astra Zeneca or Moderna shorts, or the single dose Johnson and Johnson. Malta has set the validity period for primary doses at three months, as opposed to the nine months being set for EU COVID certificates.
In Malta, a vaccine certificate is valid for nine months after taking the booster dose.
“We now hope that the validation period of vaccination is also reviewed from the existing 90 days, which puts Maltese residents at a disadvantage to the rest of the Europeans.”
MHRA said it is encouraged to see that “we are starting to see signs of an exit of pandemic, and we are on the right path of recovery, although covid might remain endemic.”
“We all want our lives back, the residents need it, the businesses need it and indeed the economy. The MHRA pledges its support and will continue to closely work with Government authorities and all stakeholders to expedite the process of recovery.”
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